Starting a horse on jumps?

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Starting a horse on jumps?

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    03-04-2011, 11:25 PM
Starting a horse on jumps?

I've been doing a lot of research about it, because sooner or later I'm going to TRY to get my boy into jumping!

My question is: Is it ok to start him on jumps myself, then just go to a trainer a few times of month to help me refine him? Or would it be best to just hire a trainer for about a month to get him going good for me?

I plan on painting up some poles around here and use them as ground/trotting poles, that can't hurt. I was also considering setting up a cavalletti or cross rail to lunge and eventually ride over, so that's why I'm askin y'all's advice :)

Also, any jumping or pre-jumping excercises/advice is welcomed.
He is comfortable with me trotting/cantering him in both half seat and 2 point.
Thank ya!
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    03-04-2011, 11:40 PM
Do you have any experience jumping?
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    03-05-2011, 12:01 AM
And of course they'd be small jumps, probably less than 2 ft. Y'know, the kind where sometimes the horse just trots over them :)
    03-05-2011, 12:37 AM
It all depends on your experience with jumping. Getting a trainer can never hurt (provided its a good trainer) and they are usually worth every penny.

But, as for starting him yourself: How old is your boy? Why do you say 'try'? Has he had any experience jumping? Good or bad experience? The best way to start is obviously with trot poles. I usualy start with lunging a horse over poles (start with one and build up from there) at both the trot and canter, let them figure it out. Once they have the hang of it, then I move and do the same exercises in the saddle. I also like to adjust the poles, make the striding slightly longer, slightly shorter etc. to get the horse (and rider) used to shortening and extending its stride which is a valuable tool for jumping.

I don't lunge horses over jumps very often, mainly because all of our jumps have jump standards that the lunge line could get caught on but I have lunged a few horses over barrels on the ground and logs which works well. But for others, I just start taking them over very small cross rails. Sometimes they need lots of leg for encouragement and some trot over them while same take HUGE leaps the first time (very important that you go with the horse even if it takes a massive leap and don't catch it in the mouth). Once the horse is happy jumping small cross rails, I move on to two jumps after each other (gradually decreasing the distance between the two) to get them used to combinations and then move on to triple combinations and then gradually increase the height.

I like to start jumping horses from a trot and maintaining a regular, calm rythm is a must! Horses must not rush jumps and must remain responsive. Only once my horse is happy trotting over the jumps, do I move on to cantering over jumps (start again from the beginning, do they keep a regular stride over cantering poles etc.). When I increase the height (up to a point obviously), I also start with trotting over that height until they are calm and jumping well and then start cantering over it.

Cavaletti is always great, it does wonders for your horses jumping form!
    03-05-2011, 01:00 AM
Good post! I just want to add that free jumping your horse never hurts before you start jumping them with a rider, let them figure out where their feet should go, how to balance ect without the added confusion of a rider. However if you don't have much experience with jumping I would suggest getting a trainer to start her. You don't want her first times jumping to have a negative effect if you're unable to keep your balance and end up catching your horse in the mouth, ect
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    03-05-2011, 01:30 AM
I say "try" because I do not know if jumping will work out for him as far as him enjoying it.

He is 9, I doubt he has ever been jumped before. He was trained in WP, and I get him this september and we've since switched to english.

You could say I'm a begginer jumper, because I haven't done it very long, but I've been taught with a good foundation and am aware of where my release and seat is.

So what I'm gathering is it may be best to get hooked up with a trainer, and at the most I can lunge over jumps? :)
    03-05-2011, 01:45 AM
Its always good to have a trainer help you with anything your unsure with, you can definitely do work to build your horse up to it though like previously stated :)
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    03-05-2011, 03:25 AM
As Rosie says, a trainer is always better but if you have a solid seat and release, I don't see why you can't begin your horses training. Lunging and even leading over jumps also helps prevent horses from over-jumping them the first time!
    03-05-2011, 09:27 AM
If you don't think you have much experience I would get a trainer to help you. There is no reason you can't start working on trot poles. The first jump I do with a horse is 4 trot poles to a cross rail. This teaches them to maintain their trot and where to take off. I don't really like to do free jumping or lunging over poles/jumps to teach a horse to jump. I would rather control them as a rider.
    03-07-2011, 08:53 PM
It would be best to have a trainer once a week or so for the first month or two he is started over jumps, and once you two are both more confident and have started to find your way, maybe have a monthly lesson to touch up on things.

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